Indian offer for talks no longer credibile: Sartaj

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Zahid Chaudhary

Islamabad

Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz on Tuesday dismissed India’s proposal to resolve the Kashmir dispute bilaterally with Pakistan, saying that New Delhi had “scuttled all opportunities for meaningful dialogue” over the past two decades.
Aziz’s statement came on the back of Delhi’s rejection of an offer extended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for multilateral resolution of the Kashmir dispute. India refused the proposition insisting that the matter must be resolved bilaterally through talks between Islamabad and New Delhi.
The Adviser said that Pakistan has always welcomed the statements and endeavours aimed at addressing the human rights issues in Indian occupied Kashmir (IoK) and the resolution of the Jammu and Kashmir dispute.
“The recent offer of the Turkish President, to strengthen the dialogue process among the stakeholders for resolving the Kashmir issue and his call for a multilateral approach to settle the dispute with an immediate end to bloodshed in IOK must be welcomed, Mr. Sartaj Aziz emphasized.
In this context, the Indian counter proposal that it is ready for bilateral dialogue with Pakistan is no longer credible because in the past two decades India has scuttled all opportunities for a meaningful dialogue to resolve the Kashmir issue in accordance with the UN Security Council’s relevant Resolutions on Kashmir, added the adviser.
Sartaj said India’s contention that Kashmir issue is, primarily, an issue of cross-border terrorism, is a claim that no one in the world is prepared to accept today.
He added that the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s declaration adopted in April “out-rightly rejected Indian attempts of equating the Kashmiris’ freedom struggle with terrorism.”
Highlighting atrocities committed by Indian forces in IOK, the FO statement quoted Aziz saying, “Nobody believes that thousands of young boys and girls, who have been agitating ceaselessly since July 2016, are terrorists.”
The Indian government has broken its own record of brutality in IOK the statement said, adding that over 100 Kashmiri protesters have been killed in valley.
“Indian forces have blinded hundreds of Kashmiris, including children, and injured over 16,000 protesters with live ammunition, pellet guns and gas shells,” the FO claimed,
The statement pointed out that the people of IOK are losing faith in Indian democracy”, citing low voter turn-out during the recently held by-polls in Srinagar as evidence.

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